Today Ben Kepes of Diversity Ltd. made a post about OpenStack. Without going into the merits of his post, I will like to address a paragraph where he quotes me.
At OSCON recently, I joined Alex Williams of TechCrunch and Krishnan Subramanian from Cloudave to discuss the future of the cloud. We spent quite some time talking about Krish’s “Federated Clouds” notion, and the important part that open source can play in that. I tended to push back against Krish’s positive, but largely utopian ideal. The fact is that history has shown that commercial imperatives win, and there will always be some kind of block to completely free federability. That said however, it seems to me that the best way to counter these barriers is to remove as many of them as possible. While some would argue that an open API is enough to do so, I’d agree with Krish that the more that is open the better, and conceptually an open cloud operating standard does more to ease this portability than do open APIs.
Just a few quick observations on this:
- First he contradicts himself in the paragraph. He says my idea of open source enabling a federated ecosystem is utopian and then argues that open APIs are not enough but open source is needed (he uses a vague open cloud operating standard to imply that). If the idea of using open source for enabling federated cloud is utopian, why is open source needed then?
- Second, he seems to imply that I claim open source is needed for federated clouds. It is his interpretation and people who have listened to my thesis can clearly understand that I am only arguing that open source lowers the barrier to entry and empowers more and more people to participate in the market. This is a well established fact. I am not sure how long Ben has been following Open Source but I am in the Open Source ecosystem from the Slackware days in the mid nineties. We have seen again and again how open source lowers the barrier to entry by commoditizing the space and pushing innovation to higher orders. Just a peep into Open Source history will give examples for this. I don’t have much to add here except to point out that my arguments is about open source lowering the barriers and not open source enabling the federation as he portrays. Someone please wake me up when proprietary commercial software lowers the barrier like open source.
Having made my point clear, let us now sit back and grab #popcorn
Disclosure: I have absolutely no financial dealings with OpenStack project or any player in the ecosystem.